© 2019 by Environment and Health Group

PREVENTION AND MANAGEMENT OF HIV

HIV remains one of the most widespread and deadly infectious diseases in the US, with more than 1 million people living with HIV, and tens of thousands of new infections occurring each year. HIV disproportionately affects African Americans and Hispanic Americans. While much progress has been made in the prevention and treatment of HIV,  a lot more can be done.  

OUR APPROACH

EHG is developing and testing state-of-the-art mobile & cloud-based web platforms (ART4me, PrEP4me) that enable patients and providers to work together to prevent HIV or optimize treatment and care models.

PROJECTS
ON THE DOT

According to the CDC, African Americans represent about 40% of the HIV positive population in the United States.  Adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART) medication is the highest priority in HIV management, and can be difficult to achieve for many HIV+ African Americans, particularly those who are older. 

In response, we’re creating and testing a novel mHealth intervention (“On the Dot”) that better enables providers to support patient ART adherence.  Effectively, the provider can prescribe the “On the Dot” mobile app to help patients adhere to ART.   App features include daily pill reminders, positive-psychology based text messages, and seamless access to personalized adherence support from providers.
 

DOT

The CDC estimates the daily PrEP pill (also known as Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis or Truvada) can drastically reduce new HIV infections among at-risk men who have sex with men (MSM). PrEP is overwhelmingly effective, as long as it’s taken consistently, on a daily basis. 

We’re developing and testing a mhealth intervention (“Dot”) to increase PrEP adherence among MSM. “Dot” offers positive-psychology based text messages, targeting unique issues that may affect adherence in this group, along with daily pill reminders. 
 

SAFE SEX FOR WOMEN AFTER 50

Divorce after the age of 50–gray divorce—impacts 10 million baby-boomer women in the United States.  Many older divorced women are beginning to date again, but don’t practice safe sex. As a result, they are at increased risk for contracting a sexually-transmitted disease (STD), including HIV.  
 
In response, we’ve created a novel positive psychology-based “SmartWeb” intervention (Divorceafter50.com) to help raise HIV/STD awareness among women who have experienced gray divorce.  The intervention is culturally-sensitive in order to reach the broadest group of divorced older women, including minority women who are at the highest risk for HIV/STDs. The intervention promotes safe sex practices, healthy living, and provides positive psychology-based advice for emotional wellbeing.

 

CANCER PREVENTION IN PERSONS WITH HIV

People with HIV are at heightened risk for cancer.  Adherence to antiretroviral treatment (ART) is the primary protection against it. Yet certain HIV+ groups, including HIV+ African Americans, can have difficulty adhering to ART, and engaging in other cancer-prevention activities such regular screenings and eating a healthy diet.  We are developing and testing a novel culturally-sensitive mhealth intervention (“On the Dot CP”) to help prevent cancer among HIV+ African Americans by promoting ART adherence, regular cancer screenings, and a healthy lifestyle.